New Orleans’ version of the NFL Experience failed to draw even half as many visitors as it did in Indianapolis in 2012. According to NFL officials, just 90,000 visitors made their way through downtown New Orleans leading up to Super Bowl XLVII. This is nowhere near the 265,000 people that flooded Indianapolis’ Super Bowl Village in 2012.
Based on NFL numbers, the Indy Super Bowl event broke all previous attendance records by more than 30 percent. Prior to this, the 2008 Super Bowl celebration in Glendale, Arizona held the attendance record.
But to be fair, New Orleans’ NFL Experience was open three fewer days than it was when Indianapolis prepared for Super Bowl XLVI. But this only partly explains the disparity in attendance. Extrapolating from this year’s numbers, there’s simply no way the New Orleans event would have come close to matching the attendance in Indianapolis.
On the first Saturday alone, Indianapolis saw a record 42,238 visitors stream through the Super Bowl Village attraction at the Indiana Convention Center according to NFL officials. Add to this 42,156 visitors on Sunday, and you get a total of 84,394 people that visited the attraction on these two days alone. There were 100,563 visitors counted during the first 3 days.
“We had a tremendous number of local people who were interested in being a part of the Super Bowl and attending attractions like the NFL Experience,” said Allison Melangton, CEO of Indianapolis’ Super Bowl host committee. “There’s no doubt that really helped our attendance.”
While the grand total numbers are yet known, it is estimated that the New Orleans’ celebration, called “Super Bowl Boulevard” failed to attract anywhere near as many as the 1.1 million people that made their way through Indianapolis’ Super Bowl Village during the 10-days it was open. Surprisingly, New Orleans’ Super Bowl Boulevard was only open for 4 days.
Indianapolis will reportedly seek to host another Super Bowl in 2018. Indianapolis’ Super Bowl Village was considered by many to be a “model” of sorts, worthy of being copied by other cities.